One of hip-hop's dopest chapters, that of the D.I.T.C. crew, begun with the release of Lord Finesse & DJ Mike Smooth's impeccable 1990 debut, "Funky Technician". The then 20 years old Bronx born emcee amazed listeners with his butter-smooth flow, spot on breath control, and witty lyrics delivered with perfect timing. Throughout the first half of the decade, 'Ness continued his microphone reign, perfecting the skill on numerous classic 12" singles, posse cuts which he almost always dominated and records with his crew.
In early 1992, "Return of the Funky Man" hit stores, which three years later was followed up with "The Awakening". Both albums are great representations of where East Coast hip-hop was at when each respective record first was released, and neither shows any sign of Finesse dropping off as a world class lyricist. Despite this, "The Awakening" turned out to be the final solo LP in his catalouge. By this time, it seemed Lord Finesse had found a deeper interest in SP1200's and Technics 1210's, as his reputation as an undeniable force as a DJ and beatmaker steadily grew. Today, his name is probably more often synonymous with one of the best producers than one of the sickest emcees, but I'd say that has more to do with lack of activity on the microphone than anything.
Someone recently requested a Finesse compilation, so instead of the typical production comp that pop up from time to time, I decided to focus this Lost Tapes compilation on Tha Funky Man ripping mics up. There's a few gems that I couldn't fit, but there's still 75 minutes of funky Lord Finesse rhymes here for all the D.I.T.C. heads to enjoy. Included are one of 'Ness earliest cameos in the form of the often overlooked "Stepping Hard Zulu Nation", which features Afrika Bambaata and the mythical Lucien amongst others. Other classic posse cuts featured here are "Trooperz Represent", "The Rhythm", "Flip Da Script", "Collaboration of Mics", "On Da M.I.C.", etc, which together forms an ear grabbing mix of some of the illest artists of New York's underground scene in the '90s. I deliberately did not include any of the obvious D.I.T.C. killers, but there's plenty of booming solo joints from the man to bang your head to. As usual all tracks appear as full versions, in good quality and without any DJ shout outs. HANDS IN THE AIR, MOUTH SHUT!!
01. "Real Talk" (w. Grand Puba)
02. "Shorties Kaught in the System (S.K.I.T.S.)"
03. "Trooperz Represent" (w. 3rd Eye, 9ine, Top Quality & Zone 7)
04. "Flip Da Script" (w. Mesanjarz of Funk & L-Boogie)
05. "The Rhythm" (w. Bas Blasta, Fat Joe, JuJu & Godfather Don)
06. "Underworld Operations" (w. Marquee)
07. "Soul Plan" (w. Roy Ayers)
08. "Know the Legend" (w. Grand Agent)
09. "Collaboration of Mics" (w. Artifacts & Lord Jamar)
10. "The Vinyl Athletes" [Remix] (w. DJ Muro & AG)
11. "Down For the Underground"
12. "Awakenings Interlude" (w. Marquee)
13. "Dig On That" (w. Ground Floor)
14. "On Da M.I.C." (w. Illegal & AG)
15. "Steppin' Hard Zulu Nation" (w. Afrika Bambaata, Lucien, RMR & Tru)
16. "Hands in the Air, Mouth Shut"